Sustainable faster - that is the challenge for the energy sector. The CIGRE 2022 Paris congress, the International Council on Large Electric Systems, impressively demonstrated that grid expansion and CO2 neutrality are the focus of everyone involved. To achieve this quickly, one goal is clearly defined: digitization must be driven forward. "And that's where Engineering Base comes in," says Michaela Imbusch, product manager at AUCOTEC. "With our software, we are the bridge from engineering to control technology." Because with Engineering Base (EB), the entire engineering workflow for substations can be covered, from the initial project idea, and design and detailed planning, to maintenance support during operation.
Single line: once for all
Thus, EB begins with the single-line diagram, the important source document that defines the primary technology devices. Up to now, experts in this discipline have developed the graphics in a separate tool and then given a list of devices, sometimes a DWG, to the secondary technology. Their specialists then have to build the SL diagram once again in EB, where an intelligent model of the entire plant is created thanks to data centering. "Duplication of effort can be easily saved if the primary technology also uses EB. Major customers in particular demand this, and the platform makes it possible for the first time," explains Michaela Imbusch. This allows secondary engineers to begin their detailed planning much more quickly and, most importantly, seamlessly, as soon as the first device is defined, rather than when the primary planning is complete. The proximity to this discipline was very clearly demonstrated by the Aucotec team at Cigre: right next to each other and without the usual partition wall, the company presented itself with Entegra GmbH – an EB coupling to their 3D system Primtech is already underway.
In addition, the Substation Configuration Tool (SCT) integrated in EB ensures consistent implementation of the IEC 61850 requirement for a vendor-neutral configuration tool based on SCL. From the graphic input of the primary technology and the modelling of abstract function nodes and data objects to the association of the plant model and system components, the SCT generates the target system-independent configuration data for station control systems in conformity with the standards. Furthermore, EB is able to generate a normative SCD file (Substation Configuration Description) from the topology, the Intelligent Electronic Devices (IED) and the network plan, which summarizes all information about the object model of the plant. "IEC 61850 in particular is currently a burning issue occupying energy distributors. EB's implementation of this standard has already impressed numerous interested parties," explains the product manager. "Because the software is already capable of building a complete model according to IEC 61850." EB thus enables end-to-end system engineering with future-proof archiving of the valuable data in the standardized format.
Up to date throughout its life
Another issue is EB's ability to act as a single source of truth for all project participants, bringing together the data into a complete plant twin and keeping it permanently up to date there. This enables both planners and operators to cope with the enormous increase in project volumes in the energy sector. Right up to the protection and control technology, all disciplines have access to the data model, each specific addition or change is immediately visible and editable by all. "It is consistently updated without waiting, coordinating or manual transfer, along with the associated effort and errors," says Imbusch. As the center of all plant knowledge, EB is also valuable for maintenance. Thanks to easy transfer of change data to EB - for example via mobile device and web service at any time from anywhere - this value can be maintained over the entire plant life.